Great holiday bungalow. Lots of character. Rented out exclusively by private owners to guests from all over the world. Fantastic, friendly staff who go the extra mile to make your holiday extra special.
A real retreat.
Outdoor heated pool close to the railway station in this Peak District village. We enjoyed a lovely, semi-private family swim on a drizzly early July weekday morning, followed by fabulous fish and chips in the pretty cafe. There's a grassy area for relaxation on warmer days. Explore Hathersage and arrive by the scenic rail route for a relaxing outing for all. Not suitable for total non-swimmers but fine for a five-year-old happy in the water.
A quiet and calm holiday retreat with fantastic seafood in local restaurants and supermarkets and local markets(La Tremblade). Worth the nine hour drive from Calais with weather that always breaks through even on cloudy days. Mostly clear blue skies but not oppressing heat due to constant gentle winds from the Atlantic. Near to Cognac, La Rochelle, Royen, and not that far from Bordeaux.
There's a variety of accommodation from campsites with mobile homes available for hire (air conditioning and all mod cons available), touring, camping and apartments. The estuary by Ronce Les Bains beach gives access to oyster and muscle farms when the tide goes out. Then there is 3ft of warm sea water to swim in when the tide comes in.
Around the corner and down the Atlantic coast you will find more exciting bathing and surfing. St Palais Sur Mare provides a larger seaside town and a challenging golf course. If you like a quiet, relaxing holiday with wine, seafood and cheese and bread you really couldn't ask for more. I have holidayed with children from three to 18 and they all love the experience.
It's definitely worth the extra three hours south of the Vendee.
Ronce Les Baines is near La Tremblade, 35 miles south of La Rochelle.
Google map: tinyurl.com/38k5hjz
If you start a day trip to Greenwich at Island Gardens on the Isle of Dogs (easily and enjoyably reached on a driverless Dockland light railway trip from Stratford), you can walk through the historic 1902 victorian foot tunnel to reach all the attractions of Greenwich. It has beautiful wooden lifts to take you into the tunnel complete with lift attendants, historical in themselves. The tunnel drips to add excitement for the children to remind them of the river above, although I hope this is just condensation! Once through the tunnel you arrive right in the heart of Greenwich with a choice of river boat trips, the beautiful painted ceiling at the Old Royal Naval College (activity sheets for children to explore the paintings too), Martitime museum, Royal Observatory and massive beautiful park for wonderful picnics all within 5a five minute walk. No one in the family ever says no to a trip like this as there is something for everyone and can be adapted to anything the British weather may throw your way.
An easy and varied day out for the family.
Leamington has something for almost everyone and all in easy reach of London, Birmingham and all towns in the Shires.
Enough shopping and food not to be thought of as a "hick town" , two decent parks with paddling pool, river, swings and general prettiness. The town is Regency period with the Pump Rooms art gallery and museum with children's activities section as well as a Damien Hirst and Mark Quinn and current Halfway to Heaven iconic photography exhibition.
Take the Chiltern Railways off peak train from Marylebone and arrive an hour and a half later.
Select from the above but my personal recommendation is to visit the Pump Rooms, then hire a boat if it's not raining and then walk up the Parade to Rhubarb for lunch and then explore the little independent shops in Regent and Warwick Streets.
Hire a rowing boat or kayak or pedalo and picnic on the River Leam. If you get as far as the Radford Road allotments ( you can only go one way because of the weir) admire the Russian style riverside dashas and envy those who have been around long enough to get a riverside plot.
Walk up the Parade which is the main shopping street with the ususal chains but cut off along Regent Street to find smaller independent shops such as Cologne and Cotton for lovely colognes and cottons, and independent coffee shops like Corleones (pretty garden at the back.)
Park Street, running north linking Regent and Warwick Streets has posh end shopping as well as a Fair Trade shop and cafe. Roots shoes is good.
Rhubarb for lunch or tea or even dinner if you decide to book in to the dirt cheap Travel Lodge situated right by the Town Hall.
Mill Road, Leamington Spa, CV31 1BE, 01926 889928
The Parade, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
CV32 4AA, 01926 742700.
50 Warwick Street, CV32 5JS, 01926 425005
Google map: tinyurl.com/39pphte
For a really unforgettable day out take the M62. First stop is J4 the Tate Liverpool where there is always something great to see but the current sculpture exhibition is amazing, dance on the disco floor and you could be in Las Vegas. No time to linger as our next stop is Crosby where Antony Gormley’s Another Place has reinvigorated a dying seaside town. Eat your sandwiches watching the constantly changing vista and the antics of people trying to pose with naked metal men – its unreal!
Back on the M62 leaving at J7 St Helens to visit the Dream, it looks good from the motorway close up it is truly spectacular, the whiteness of the huge marble statue against the blue of the sky with coal dust at its feet is awesome.
How to finish such an inspirational day? Leave the M62 at J21 Milnrow and go to Hollingworth Lake where eating fish and chips and watching the setting sun you can view the sailing boats framed by the Pennines as nature creates its own work of art.
Google map: tinyurl.com/385e95e
Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4BB, 0151 702 7400
Gormley at Crosby: tinyurl.com/kmsr3y
Google map: tinyurl.com/32ug6u3
Hollingworth Lake: tinyurl.com/35l7q6m
Hollingworth Lake Activity Centre: www.link4life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=c.showPage&pageID=243
Lake Bank, Littleborough, Lancashire OL15 0DQ,
01706 370 499
Nestled in the Forest of Bowland, this beautiful park was a great day out for all the family for only £15. We arrived to find peacocks wandering, pot bellied pigs snoring and a frog in the toilet block! The owners happily showed us around the grounds introducing us to the baby wild boars and chicks only three days old. Our children loved the great range of animals from meercats to miniature donkeys, wallabies and whooper swans, the tractor ride and barrel ride and their dad loved the adventure playground. We all ate in the cafe – delicious homemade soup, burgers and cakes. Half the price of some of the larger animal parks. We walked off the cake with a hike in the woods spotting wrens and robins and a variety of wild flowers. A gem of a place.
This gem of a resort has something for the young and not-so-young alike. Arriving by bus or train, saunter up to the West Pier and Whitby Sands for a dip in the sea, or take a boat trip round the harbour. A fish-and-chip lunch is a must - try the famous Magpie Cafe, a Whitby culinary landmark! Cross over the swing bridge to the old town and wander along the cobbled streets, taking in the Captain Cook Museum, until you eventually reach the 199 steps leading up to the clifftop St Mary's Church and awe-inspiring Whitby Abbey. 'Dracula' would never have been written otherwise!
Blackpool is not just the Tower, Pleasure Beach and Golden Mile. Inland it is home to the large Stanley Park which, with the neighbouring attractions, can provide plenty of variety for a family day out without getting sand in your sandwiches! The park itself has a large boating lake, children’s playground, cafe along with the usual amenities that you would find in any good park. The bonus here is the park’s neighbours: the model village and the zoo. The model village has a large variety of models, depicting a variety of scenes from all over Britain. The zoo is the real highlight – not just being home to a wide range of animals in attractive enclosure – but visitors can also explore the world of prehistoric creatures on a dinosaur safari.
On a misty autumn day, we signalled the boat to carry us over Lake of Menteith to the island. In light rain, we were the only visitors. Our young sons and their friends re-enacted Squirrel Nutkin among ancient chestnut trees and we ate lunch in the ruins of Inchmahome Priory. Magical!
An old favourite of ours and a fantastic day out in the north west is a visit to the terraced gardens at Rivington. Stroll around all the way up to Rivington Pike, if you have the energy. See if you can find the ornamental Japanese pool and the old tower for Pidgeons and Doves. Spot the remains of Lord Lever's grand mansion. The views across the reservoir to Liverpool are always enjoyable and if its clear you can see further to North Wales and the Lake District; we always try to be the first one to spot Blackpool Tower. On a good day, take a picnic or eat in the cafe in the splendid Great Barn. A grand day out!
www.bolton.org.uk/rivington.html. Rivington Lane, Horwich, Bolton, Greater Manchester, England, BL6 7SB
Read more: www.gardenvisit.com/garden/rivington_terraced_gardens#ixzz0vdMYwOxp
Google map: bit.ly/aafjce
Describing this as a museum does not do it justice - it is a place that brings the industrial revolution to life and takes you back over 100 years. You get a chance to experience the life of the masses; giggle at the latest fashions in the shops, change your money in the bank, take a ride on a train or a pony and trap, visit the post office and buy old-fashioned sweets from the sweet shop. Working life can also be experienced in the Foundry. Every child and adult I have ever taken there has loved it. The site is constantly developing, which means you can keep visiting with new generations. What better day out?
Google map: bit.ly/cO645W
Ironbridge is near Telford and has 10 museums in the town.
Tucked away down Bashful Alley (a name straight out of Harry Potter) can be found the Old Bell Coffeehouse. This is an excellent vibrant little cafe tucked away down an old alley near the castle in the centre of Lancaster. Good selection of mains and snacks, prices were very reasonable. Although bustling, service was quick and polite. Mixed youngish crowd. Highly recommended
Bashful Alley, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1LP
Google map: tinyurl.com/32p57hf
If you have kids, head to the park outside the temple of heaven. I went here with my sons to see the beautiful temple of heaven. We had lots of fun at the park. There is lots going on – very cool play structures, people dancing, doing taichi etc. My kids joined in and loved it. We also went to the nearby Toy Museum which was also a big hit. The flying helicopters were a favourite.
Informal curries cooked and served in the grounds of the Edinburgh Central Mosque. Tasty, portions big enough to satisfy my growing 14 year old, variety enough for a seven year old, and catering for both vegetarians and carnivores. Best of all perhaps: a fabulous variety of non-alcoholic drinks from cans of coconut milk to doubtful highly coloured fizzy concoctions. A treat for all the family without breaking the bank. Take a jumper as the eatery is open air (marquee style roof to keep off the rain).
Potterrow, behind the National Museum of Scotland, near to the University - the minaret is a clue.
Google map: bit.ly/b3P3jl
Chop Chop has to be the best Chinese restaurant ever! The dumplings are to die for at this family friendly, family run business. If you visit Edinburgh you have to visit Chop Chop. Right next to Haymarket Station. PS: they've just opened one in Leith.
Jersey is an island in the English channel it is near France. The milk produced from their Jersey cows is very creamy and tastes fantastic. There are lots of lovely beaches and near one of them there is castle Gorey. In the hills you can go pony trekking along the lanes.
Many people in Jersey speak French as well as English.
Condor Ferries Plymouth taking 3hrs 25minutes
+44 (0)1305 763003
Google map: bit.ly/dovXS4
It is such a suitable apartment for family travellers. Location is superb just nearby Blue Mosque. We found the apartment extremely clean. Home owner Bahadir took a very good care of us during our stay in July.
Take the (free) Staten Island ferry and go to a baseball game. The Staten Island Yankees ballpark is an easy walk from the ferry terminal. For $16 you get over two hours' sport and fun - we laughed for the whole event (3rd base seating is recommended). The sight of men trying to get into frozen t-shirts between innings will stay with us.
Other top tips for NYC:
Travel from JFK - for parties of three or more take a yellow cab ($55ish to your hotel door).
Breakfast - Grand Central Station
Lunch/Dinner - Whole Foods market, excellent value and choice (avoid busy 6pm - 7pm period) 10 Columbus Circle, basement of Time Warner Center. Very convenient for Central Park.
Elegant boutique guesthouse and restaurant in the most unspoiled part of Turkey. The interior design is exquisite, rooms are comfortable and the food rivals that in any of the best restaurants I have eaten at in Paris, London, Istanbul, Melbourne or New York. The price is very reasonable considering the excellent quality.
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